Take this with as many grains of salt as you want but…
“MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Russian Ministry of Defense said on Sunday it had no reliable information on the U.S. operation that killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, state-run RIA news agency reported after U.S. President Donald Trump confirmed his death.
“The Russian Ministry of Defense does not have reliable information on the U.S. servicemen conducting in the Turkish-controlled part of the de-escalation zone of Idlib an operation on yet another ‘elimination’ of the former IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” Major-General Igor Konashenkov was quoted by RIA as saying.”
“Yet another”…serious shade there…
“We are unaware of any alleged assistance to the flying of U.S. aviation into the airspace of the Idlib de-escalation zone during this operation,” Major-General Igor Konashenkov was quoted by RIA as saying.”
Either someone is lying here or the good General is spreading disinformation.
If someone IS lying, forced to choose between the Russian Ministry of Defense or drumpf, I’d have to give the Russians a slight edge on veracity.
Update: Julia Davis article on this at The Daily Beast.
“Kremlin-controlled Russian state media shot down President Trump’s announcement, with headlines that read: “The Russian Defense Ministry does not believe in al-Baghdadi’s liquidation.” Major General Igor Konashenkov scoffed at the changing details of the operation, with Trump adding alleged participants and various countries that supposedly took part in the raid, “each with completely contradictory details,” which Konashenkov said “raises reasonable questions and doubts about [the operation’s] veracity, not to mention success.”
Konashenkov said that the entire territory of the Idlib de-escalation zone that is not under control of the Assad government is in the grip of the Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda—the terrorist group Jebhat al-Nusra—which he argued “always uncompromisingly exterminated any ISIS representatives on the spot as the main rivals for power in Syria.” Therefore, Konashenkov does not believe President Trump’s claims that the former ISIS leader could be quietly hiding in the territory controlled by Syrian Al-Qaeda, demanding “at least some direct evidence from the United States or other participants in the operation.”